Britain is keen on the Southfork Ranch, and so are more than 900,000 fans on Facebook that “like” the fictional Ewing family from the revamped television series “Dallas.” A legion of viewers chat about the reborn series on nearly 33,000 discussion threads on the official Turner Network Television website. “Dallas” originally ran on network TV from 1978 to 1991 and was resurrected on cable by TNT July 11, drawing a record crowd of nearly 7 million viewers. So far, it is the top fictional series on cable in 2012.

Reunited and Ready to Wrangle

TNT DALLAS TV SHOWThe complications of Southfork life remain as sticky as the oily goo underground. Forget about the question “Who killed J.R.?” that fueled viewership in the early ’80s. Britain’s The Guardian newspaper cheekily notes that viewers today likely are wondering who put J.R. in an old people’s home. Fans of the original who have been limited to network TV can get information about subscribing to cable on web sites such as www.cablenet.net, so they can catch up on their favorite Ewings.

Entertainment Weekly describes the new series as a continuation rather than a remake of the original. It reunites iconic stars from the original cast such as: Larry Hagman, the conniving J.R. Hewing; Linda Gray, his former wife, Sue Ellen, who is no longer a lush but is still lushly beautiful; and Patrick Duffy, J.R.’s compassionate younger brother, Bobby Ewing. Cast members representing the younger Ewing generation include: Josh Henderson, J.R. and Sue Ellen’s equally scheming son; John Ross and Jesse Metcalfe, Bobby’s equally conscience-stricken adoptive son, Christopher.

J.R., Sue Ellen and Bobby are back in a big way and ready to scrap over financial and ecological control of the family’s vast ranch and oil reserves. Sue Ellen wants to be the next governor of Texas. Meanwhile, Bobby is battling cancer while J.R. is battling old age and loss of power in an assisted living facility.

The villainous John Ross wants to impress dad and win the love of his childhood friend Elena Ramos, who is a beauty and daughter of the family’s longtime cook. Elena has always loved Christopher. She is, however, willing to exploit her connection to John Ross to get ahead in the oil industry. Meanwhile, Christopher is haunted by the need to right his family’s environmental wrongs, and turn the family business toward alternative fuels.

What Viewers and Critics Are Saying

The cast members from the original “Dallas” have obviously figured out how to survive in Hollywood, but how are the new cast members holding up in the eyes of viewers and critics?Overall, press coverage and reader comments have been prolific if not always positive. Here is some of the feedback:

• According to The New York Times, viewers are more interested in the returning cast than the younger Ewings, at least so far.
• The headline on Washington Post critic Hank Steuver’s review nicely sums up his viewpoint that the new TNT “Dallas” is “a satisfying roll in the sentimental hay full of the angst and dirty    dealings that viewers of original episodes expect.”

So “D” is for Dallas, dastardly and a darned good time. Don’t expect too many good guys.

Shameless Plug Now Over :)

Leave a Reply